AT&T making 'modest price adjustments' in Louisiana

Those who insist that competition levels costs for subscribers need look no further than Louisiana, where multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) newcomer AT&T (NYSE: T) has joined incumbent service providers Cox Communications, DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) in increasing what it charges for its broadband services.

According to a story in the Baton Rouge Advocate, AT&T is citing "increased business costs and increased costs for TV content" as the reason it is instituting "modest price adjustments" to its U-verse services in the state. On the other hand, an email from company spokeswoman Sue Sperry to the newspaper said the carrier is offsetting the increases "by adding value for U-verse customers that include several new features and new content" that will be available via television, the U-verse website and smartphone and table apps.

Most TV customers can expect monthly increases that range from $2 to $4, which includes a broadcast TV surcharge. Broadband customers will see their prices go up $3 to $5 "depending on the date they ordered U-verse services," Sperry told the newspaper. Increases for bundled customers will be capped at about $9.

Adding a bit of complexity to an already convoluted process, AT&T will not mess with customers who have promotional offers or pricing.

AT&T isn't the only one raising its prices in the bayou--and elsewhere in the country. Cox is hiking fees an average of about $6 per month, blaming programming costs, and DirecTV is pushing its fees up an average of 4.5 percent, with increases for some sports networks and receiver/DVR equipment. Dish prices are going up $5 per month, again, due to rising programming costs.

For more:
- the Baton Rouge Advocate has this story

Related articles:
AT&T U-verse, Disney expand relationship
Verizon hits FiOS subs with $2.42 monthly surcharge for regional sports networks


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